02f64ffcWard Individual.jpg Archived News | United States Hunter Jumper Association

McLain Ward and Sapphire Finish Individual Finals in Seventh Place Overall

October 8, 2010

By Jeannie Blancq Putney

October 8th-Lexington, KY – It was two gorgeous clean rounds for McLain Ward and Sapphire putting them in seventh place overall. Ward and Sapphire put in one of only three double clear rounds finishing with an overall score of 12.27 after three days of competition.

“She felt great,” he said. “Like I said the other night she’s been jumping great all week. I made a mistake at the green oxer the second round, and then I think the third round I tried to over-correct it and then was a little surprised with the last jump down. I really can’t say that at any point that I thought she wasn’t jumping well, and today she jumped great again.”

Ward started the evening in the 24th place and after a beautiful clear round over the first course he and Sapphire moved up to the 9th position as rails fell all over the course for many other riders. In the second round, the dynamic duo moved up another two places to finish in 7th.

“I am pleased with her performance tonight obviously but am disappointed,” he said. “It is what it is. I am 34. I’ll have a few more chances. I’ve got a couple more swings at it. It wasn’t meant to be. I’m lucky to have such a good horse.”

Ward expressed that the U.S. team was thankful to be on home turf but feels disappointed for the fans that didn’t get to see their U.S. team win a medal.

“We’ve had a wonderful welcome here all week,” he said. “It’s great to have the home crowd. My biggest disappointment is I do feel we let them down.”

The Conrad Homfeld-designed courses included 15
jumping efforts in the first round and 12 in the second round. The theme of “Iconic WEG and Kentucky” included an Ariat jump, Lincoln Memorial, Louisville Slugger, Muhammad Ali, Bluegrass Music and more.

The top four riders who will return Saturday evening for the final four are as follows: Eric Lamaze and Hickstead (CAN), Philippe Le Jeune and Vigo D’Arsouilles (BEL), Rodrigo Pessoa and HH Rebozo (BRA), and Abdullah Al Sharbatly and Seldana Di Campalto (KSA). Each rider will ride all four horses to decide the gold, silver and bronze medals.

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